From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[UMNS-ALL-NEWS] UMNS# 526-United Methodists launch U.S. back-to-school ad campaign

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Tue, 5 Sep 2006 17:44:26 -0500

United Methodists launch U.S. back-to-school ad campaign

Sep. 5, 2006 News media contact: Diane Denton * (615) 742-5406* Nashville {526}

NOTE: Photographs are available at

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - The United Methodist Church is marking the back-to-school season in the United States with a $1.5 million cable television advertising campaign that urges people to focus on God.

"The back-to-school season is a significant time to invite people to attend a United Methodist Church - after summer vacations are past and families begin to regroup and plan their fall activities," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. "Many churches present new programming initiatives during this time of year to connect families to church ministries."

The commercials are designed to appeal to audiences between the ages of 25 to 54.

Two different television spots are included in the fall campaign. The first commercial, titled "I Believe," begins "I believe no one who asks for help should be turned away." The commercial emphasizes the church's acceptance and inclusiveness.

The second commercial, titled "Prayer," reminds viewers to believe in the power of prayer with the anticipation expressed in childlike faith. Both English- and Spanish-language versions of this commercial are airing.

The commercials are airing on 21 cable networks through Sept. 17. The two spots will air approximately 1,200 times, creating 244 million impressions, according to United Methodist Communications, which manages the campaign.

The communications agency also has awarded 70 grants totaling $240,000 to local churches to conduct media campaigns in their communities. Every dollar provided by the national agency will be matched by a dollar from local United Methodist organizations. The local campaigns involve a mix of advertising media, including broadcast and cable television, billboards, radio and cinema advertising.

The commercials are airing on A&E, ABC Family, Animal Planet, BET, CNN and CNN Headline News, Discovery Channel, Fox News Channel, Hallmark Channel, Home and Garden Television, the History Channel, Lifetime, TBS Superstation, TNT, TV One, USA Network, the Weather Channel and WGN Superstation. The Spanish-language commercials will be broadcast on Telefutura, Galavision and Univision.

The spots also can be seen online. For "I Believe," go to < h txt=diversityspot> &searchtxt=diversityspot. The "Prayer" spot can be seen at < h txt=child-like> &searchtxt=child-like.

The United Methodist Church began its "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors." advertising and welcoming campaign in 2001.

*This article is adapted from a press release from United Methodist Communications, which operates United Methodist News Service.

News media contact: Diane Denton or Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or


United Methodist News Service Photos and stories also available at:


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